When you are sick or not feeling well, go see a doctor. Illness has no negative influence on your asylum application.

Doctors in Germany have a duty of confidentiality and are prohibited from sharing information about you in general.


Here you can find current information on the coronavirus:

More information on quarantine (Quarantäne) here (in German, English, Arabic, Farsi, Russian):

Here you can find information on different coronavirus vaccines:

Here you can find information for Hamburg:

At the Ankunftszentrum (arrival centre)

At the Ankunftszentrum (arrival centre) in Rahlstedt you will initially be examined and tested for coronavirus.

If your test result is positive and you are showing symptoms, you will be brought to a hospital and receive medical treatment.

Otherwise you will be brought to another accomodation for quarantine (Quarantäne) after the test. Here, you will be isolated in a room alone or with your family and separate from other refugees for several days. This happens in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus. However, it is possible that you are accommodated separately from family members who tested positive.

After quarantine (Quarantäne) you will come back to the Ankunftszentrum in Rahlstedt. If you are not distributed to another Bundesland (federal state), your initial medical examination (medizinische Erstuntersuchung) will take place at Bargkoppelstieg 10-14. An X-Ray examination (Röntgenuntersuchung), blood test and a short physical examination are part of this. The examination is important in order to detect and treat infectious diseases. You can have different vaccinations here.

Women can ask for a female doctor.

Medical care will be provided at the Ankunftszentrum. The employees of the Ankunftszentrum can also fill out a form (Behandlungsschein) for you. With this form you can go to a doctor, emergency service or hospital within the next 24 hours.

You can find more information on the asylum procedure here: https://we-inform.de/portal/en/asylum/

Help with illness at the initial reception centre (Erstaufnahmeeinrichtung) and at the secondary accommodation (Folgeunterkunft)

Medical consultation is available at the initial reception centre (Erstaufnahmeeinrichtung, EA). You will receive free medical treatment there and get a referral, if necessary. Asylum applicants in Hamburg are insured by the AOK Bremen/Bremerhaven. You do not need to register yourself, the initial reception centre (Erstaufnahmeeinrichtung) will take care of it.

At the initial reception centre (Erstaufnahmeeinrichtung), you will receive a “certificate for presentation to the attending physician” („Bescheinigung zur Vorlage beim behandelnden Arzt“) and later an electronic health card (elektronische Gesundheitskarte, eGK). You can go to the doctor with the certificate or the health card. Treatment is generally free.

With the health card you can still go to doctors when you are living at a secondary accommodation (Folgeunterkunft). You will be insured by the AOK Bremen/Bremerhaven until you receive a residence permit (Aufenthaltserlaubnis) or after 18 months in Germany. You then get a notification and can choose your own health insurance.


You can find a booklet that explains the German healthcare system here: https://www.hamburg.de/altona/gesundheitsversorgung-broschueren/

In Germany there are various types of doctors. The treating doctors can be both men and women. A Hausarzt (general practitioner) is responsible for your overall health. A Kinderarzt (paediatrician) is responsible for children. If you have problems with your teeth, you go to a Zahnarzt (dentist). A Frauenarzt (gynaecologist) is specifically responsible for women (including during pregnancy). Always arrange an appointment in advance!

You can search for doctors yourself here:


You can also find doctors here that speak your language. Otherwise, most doctors speak English. If you do not speak German or English, you will likely need an interpreter!

You can find a dictionary with the most important terms here: www.aqqkowuysp.cloudimg.io/v7/_auirp_/downloads/04/2/4/3/6/5/AU_Bilderwoerterbuch_Gesundheit_franz_arab.pdf?func=proxy (English, French and Arabic) and here: www.aqqkowuysp.cloudimg.io/v7/_auirp_/downloads/04/2/4/3/6/5/AU_Bilderwoerterbuch_Gesundheit_urdu_farsi_neu.pdf?func=proxy (Urdu and Farsi).


Vaccination is very important for disease prevention, especially for children.

Factsheets on vaccines (in German): Faktenblätter RKI

Information on different vaccines in several languages (for example English, Arabic, Dari, Kurmanji, Russian, Tigrinya): Click on the vaccine you want to learn more about (caption “Impfaufklärung”) and look for the PDF in your language –  https://www.rki.de/DE/Content/Infekt/Impfen/Materialien/materialien_fremdsprachig_inhalt.html

Information for parents on diseases that can be prevented by vaccination: https://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0013/162301/Vaccine-preventable_DE_WHO_1proof.pdf


You can get drugs from a pharmacy. You will need a prescription from a doctor for many drugs. Necessary drugs are mostly free with a prescription. In an emergency, you can also collect them at night or at the weekend.

Non-prescription medical products (such as plasters) can also be obtained at a Drogerie (chemist).

Information (for example in Ukrainian): https://medwatch.de/2022/03/06/%d0%b0%d0%bf%d1%82%d0%b5%d0%ba%d0%b0-%d0%b4%d0%b5-%d0%b2%d0%b8-%d0%bc%d0%be%d0%b6%d0%b5%d1%82%d0%b5-%d0%be%d1%82%d1%80%d0%b8%d0%bc%d0%b0%d1%82%d0%b8-%d0%bb%d1%96%d0%ba%d0%b8/.

You can search for pharmacies yourself here:


If you become ill at night, at the weekend or on a public holiday, in urgent cases you can visit an emergency practice (Notfallpraxis).

If you are unable to go to an emergency practice, there are doctors who provide medical advice over the phone and also come to your place to examine you (ärztlicher Bereitschaftsdienst).

The emergency departments of hospitals (Notaufnahme) are available for emergencies and accidents. You should expect to have to wait here.

Only if the situation is life-threatening, you should call the emergency services (Rettungsdienst).

In an emergency, doctors are obligated to treat you. It does not matter if you have proper documentation and a health insurance or not.

Emergency practices (Notfallpraxis) 

You can find an overview of all emergency practices (Notfallpraxis) and special emergency medical services for children (Kinderärztlicher Notfalldienst) here: www.kvhh.net/de/patienten/arztruf-hamburg.html

You can see which practice is closest to you and currently open here: https://arztruf-hamburg.de/de/notfallpraxis-suche.html

  • Emergency practice in Wandsbek (Bundeswehrkrankenhaus, German army hospital): Lesserweg 180
    Monday to Friday 6 pm – 12 am (midnight), Wednesday 1 pm – 12 am (midnight), Saturday, Sunday and public holidays 8 am – 12 am (midnight)
  • Emergency practice in Altona: Stresemannstraße 54
    Monday to Friday 7 pm – 12 am (midnight), Wednesday 1 pm – 12 am (midnight), Saturday, Sunday and public holidays 7 am – 12 am (midnight)

Emergency medical assistance (Ärztlicher Bereitschaftsdienst) 

Hamburg: +49 40 228022

When you call, you will hear an automated announcement. First, you need to choose why you are calling. Select 1 for medical assistance (medizinische Hilfe) or 3 for other services.

Germany: 116117

First, you need to choose why you are calling. For medical assistance, select 2, for all requests concerning the coronavirus select 1. Next, you need to enter your postal code and you will be forwarded.

Emergency Services (Rettungsdienst)

In an emergency you can call the emergency service (Rettungsdienst). Always say your name, where you are and what has happened. Wait for questions! An ambulance will collect injured people, no matter where they are.

  • Emergency Service (Rettungsdienst) phone number: 112
Help without paper

If you do not have a certificate or health insurance card, you will receive medical aid from these advice centres. If you do not speak German or English, bring an interpreter with you! Advice is normally anonymous.

  • Medibüro Hamburg: Hospitalstraße 109
    +49 40 238558322, every first and third Monday of a month: 3pm – 5pm
  • Praxis ohne Grenzen: Fangdieckstraße 53
    +49 40 69455910, Wednesday 12 pm – 5 pm
  • Migrantenmedizin Westend: Vogelhüttendeich 17
    +49 40 75666401, consultation: Tuesday 9 am – 12 pm, please come at the beginning of the consultation, consultations for children every 4th Wednesday of the month 9 am – 11 am, please make an appointment: +49 40 75666401 (Monday to Thursday 9am – 3:30pm), westend@hoffnungsorte-hamburg.de, https://hoffnungsorte-hamburg.de/die-hoffnungsorte/westend-open-med/

You can get advice on your health insurance status (Krankenversicherung) here and if necessary, you will be referred to doctors who can treat you:

Flüchtlingszentrum – Clearingstelle zur medizinischen Beratung von Ausländern: niethammer@fz-hh.de, +49 40 28 40 79 123 (Monday 9 am – 1 pm, Thursday 9 am – 1 pm und 3 pm – 5 pm), please make an appointment before

Trauma and mental stress

If you have seen and experienced many bad things, you can carry these experiences with you and they can change you. If you feel overwhelmed by memories or suffer from anxiety, you should seek help. Psychotherapists or psychiatrists are responsible for this. You can visit them with your certificate or health insurance card. There are further free programmes, especially for children.

You can find help here (even without papers or registration):

  • Centra: Heidenkampsweg 97, please make an appointment (in German, English, Farsi or Arabic): info@centra.hamburg, +49 40 23205220, contact form: www.centra.hamburg/kontakt/, www.centra.hamburg/angebot/uebersicht/
  • haveno health centre St. Pauli: Seewartenstraße 10
    +49 40 31793535, arrange an appointment by phone by leaving a message in your native language on the answering machine. Give your name and your phone number. You will be called back, www.haveno.de
  • Lichtpunkt e.V.: Ehrenbergstraße 69, please make an appointment: info@lichtpunkt.org, +49 40 764 816 84 (Monday to Friday 9 am – 1 pm). Interpreters are available upon request.
  • Counselling (Psychosoziale Beratung) by Diakonie Hamburg: Königstraße 54, please make an appointment: +49 40 30620 361 (Monday and Wednesday: 10am – 12pm, Thursday: 2pm – 4pm), psb-flucht@diakonie-hamburg.de. Languages: German, English, interpreters are also available upon request

Especially for young asylum seekers there are further free programs. You can find help for traumatised children and young people here:


Nobody is allowed to subject you to violence. This is a punishable crime in Germany. If you are a witness to or a victim of crime, seek out help! Contact the police or anonymously and confidentially contact an advice centre.

Domestic violence: Members of your family are not allowed to threaten or subject you to violence either.

Sexual violence: It is forbidden to force other people into sexual acts or to molest them.

You can find advice centres here:

  • SAVIA – Steps against violence
    +49 40 350177253, Monday to Wednesday 2 pm – 4 pm, Thursday and Friday 10 am – 12 pm, savia@verikom.de
    For everyone who has been subjected to violence, referral to other institutions
  • Violence against women helpline (Hilfetelefon Gewalt gegen Frauen)
    +49 8000 116016, permanently staffed.
    The female employees speak Arabic, Persian, Russian and English, among other languages.
    In German you can also seek written advice: www.hilfetelefon.de/no_cache/das-hilfetelefon/beratung/online-beratung.html
  • You can also seek protection in Hamburg’s Frauenhäusern (women’s shelters): www.hamburgerfrauenhaeuser.de; emergency number: +49 40 8000 4 1000.
Support for refugees with a disability

As a refugee with a disability you have the right to a special degree of protection (“besonders schutzbedürftig”).

You are entitled to various forms of support.

First, a doctor needs to diagnose your disability. The Versorgungsamt officially recognises the disability. In order for this to happen, you need to file a request (Antrag): Versorgungsamt Hamburg, Adolph-Schönfelder-Straße 5, versorgungsamt@soziales.hamburg.de, + 49 40 428630, www.hamburg.de/versorgungsamt/

Advice centres can advise and support you with this process. You can also find more information on the request (Antrag) here: https://www.hamburg.de/antrag-merkblaetter/83238/start

There is a differentiation between different kinds of disabilities: there are physical disabilities (for example deafness, blindness, limited mobility), intellectual disabilities and psychological disabilities. Additionally, you can differentiate by degree of disability (Grad der Behinderung). The degree tells you how many disadvantages the disabled person experiences in his or her daily life. With a degree of 50 or above, you receive a “Schwerbehindertenausweis” and thereby several advantages. For example, under certain conditions you can receive a supplement (Beiblatt) from the Versorgungsamt so that you can use public transport for free.

The following advice centres can support you:

  • ZuFlucht Lebenshilfe: Stresemannstraße 163, please make an appointment: emna.lourimi@lhhh.de, +49 1590 4245167 (Monday to Friday 9 am – 1 pm), website with contact form: https://zf.lhhh.de/
  • Autonom Leben e.V.: Langenfelder Straße 35, please make an appointment: info@autonomleben.de , +49 40 334691110 (Monday and Tuesday: 10am – 6pm), http://www.autonomleben.de/
    Please notify in advance if you need someone to interpret for you. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, it is possible that consultations will take place via video conference.

Ergänzende unabhängige Teilhabeberatung (EUTB): 

Advice centre by Fördern & Wohnen for refugees with a disability who live at initial reception centres (Erstaufnahmeeinrichtung) or secondary accommodations (Folgeunterkunft): Kurt-Schumacher-Allee 4, 9. Etage, please make an appointment: teilhabe_gefluechtete@foerdernundwohnen.de , +49 40 280044940, https://www.foerdernundwohnen.de/unterkuenfte/beratung/beratung-fuer-gefluechtete-mit-chronischer-erkrankung-und-behinderung

You can also make an appointment via the Sozialmanagement (social management team) of your accommodation.

Furthermore, there are different advice centres for different kinds of disabilities:

You can find more information on self-help groups and offers here: https://we-inform.de/portal/en/meet-citizens/

Last Updated: 12.01.2022